Away we go!

Following a blustery weekend spent making final preparations in Newport, Rhode Island, the NOAA ship Pisces departed at noon from the Newport Naval Station on Monday, November 3, 2014 to sail on the Fall Northeast Pelagic – Ecosystem Monitoring Survey. Calibration of the acoustic sensors being used to locate fish schools was conducted in Narragansett Bay by Mike Jech, Joe Godlewski and Mike Ryan. Upon completing their work that evening, Joe Godlewski and Mike Ryan were returned to shore via the Pisces rescue boat, after which the vessel headed out on rapidly diminishing seas towards Georges Bank.

calibration data on screen

Calibration data in graphic and text form seen during the calibration process. Photo by Jerry Prezioso, NEFSC/NOAA


Mike Jech and Joe Godlewski watching calibration results in the acoustics room aboard the NOAA ship Pisces. Photo by Jerry Prezioso, NEFSC/NOAA

This cruise is a collaboration between NOAA’s  Northeast Fisheries Science Center and  Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and the University of Maine. In addition to the normal complement of plankton nets, midwater trawling nets and hydrographic gear carried for these surveys, the vessel also has two respirometer chambers set up in the wet lab to measure the oxygen consumption of live butterfish captured in the trawls. These data will be used to evaluate the thermal niche model used in a recent butterfish assessment.

mike Ryna departs ships with equipment

Mike Ryan prepares to depart from the Pisces after calibration is completed. Photo by Jerry Prezioso, NEFSC/NOAA

team leabves on rescue boat

The calibration team is returned to the Newport Naval Station aboard the Pisces rescue boat. Photo by Jerry Prezioso, NEFSC/NOAA

Initial bongo net tows in Southern New England waters approaching the Great South Channel had some juvenile hake in them. The temperature and salinity profiles in these shallow waters were well mixed which is not surprising given the recent strong winds. Midwater trawls will commence once the vessel is on Georges Bank. The weather right now is excellent and the vessel is making rapid progress with an eye on a storm system forecast for Friday. The immediate plan worked out by the command is to work our way east along the southern portion of Georges Bank and then loop west towards Cape Cod ahead of the advancing system, and hopefully keep working!

Jerry Prezioso
Chief Scientist
PC 1405 Fall NE Pelagic-Ecosystem Monitoring Survey

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